Dr. Kim’s Blog

Dr. Kim Okamura Welcome to my blog! This blog is a product of my love of dentistry. I dedicate it to all the patients I have served so that they may better understand my craft. The information here will give you and others the power to maintain and protect one of your most priceless gifts ... your SMILE. Happy reading!
Do you have any upcoming vacations on your calendar? Lucky you! While traveling and seeing new places is fun and exciting, it can also be more challenging if you’re a patient that is new to Invisalign. Whether you’re hitting the open road, or heading to the airport, do it confidently with these 6 tips to enjoying your vacation with Invisalign. Pack the Essentials You’ve likely packed a dental essentials kit before during previous travels. The good news is that it’s likely your existing travel kit already has almost everything you need to care for your Invisalign while away. Be sure to include these essential travel items for maintaining your oral health: Travel Toothbrush - We recommend you pack multiple toothbrushes in convenient places such as your suitcase, a carry-on, and in a handbag, so you are always able to clean your teeth after eating and drinking before replacing your aligners. Floss - ...
When life gets hectic, many adults put off routine dental appointments, and that can come back to haunt you down the road. If it has been longer than you’d like to admit since a dentist has seen you, there is no time like the present to reinvest in your oral health. Having your teeth cleaned by a professional is about more than just a white smile. Maintaining your oral health can prevent tooth loss and other serious health issues. Here’s what you can expect if it has been years since you have been in the dentist chair. An Extensive Cleaning If it has been over a year since you have been to the dentist, the first thing you can expect is for your appointment to take a bit longer than usual. Over time, a significant amount of plaque can form on the surfaces of your teeth, and the only way to have this ...
Dreaming of candy hearts, romantic love songs, and a perfect first kiss this Valentine’s Day? Before cozying up to the one you love, make sure your mouth is in excellent health because, sometimes, a kiss can be more than just a kiss. Kissing stimulates saliva, which can help your mouth fight cavities naturally. However, if you have poor oral health, you run the risk of sharing unwanted germs, illnesses or diseases instead of a perfect first kiss. Make your smile a vision of love and extra kissable with these tips. Brush Up On Your Brushing Basics You’ve likely been practicing the same oral hygiene routine since you can remember, but your at-home technique should evolve, not stay the same. Brush up on your hygiene habits and refresh your perspective and your mouth. At your next dental exam, ask your dentist or hygienist how your at-home care measures up, and if you should be doing ...
An earache can be quite painful at times, and the immediate assumption is that the pain is the result of some problem within the ears. Interestingly, that ear pain you are experiencing may not be related to a condition within your ears at all. A number of dental health problems can cause ear aches as a common symptom. Some of the most common kinds of dental problems may result in earaches. Your Ear Pain May Not Be Caused By Your Ears Experiencing an earache can be quite painful at times, and most immediate assumptions are that the pain is the result of some issue within your ear. However, that ear pain you are experiencing may not be related to an ear condition at all. A number of dental health problems can lead to earaches as a symptom.   Tooth Decay and Ear Pain Having a bad untreated cavity or suffering from significant tooth damage can be ...
After getting your teeth cleaned and polished by a dental hygienist, the dentist will come in to examine your teeth. To many patients, it is hard to follow along with what happens next as your dentist begins rattling off alphanumeric jargon. Dr. Kim Okamura wants you to feel more prepared in following along with what your dentist is really saying while using dental terminology.  Here’s a basic guide to understanding dental lingo, especially what the numbers and letters discussed during your exam mean. What the Numbers and Letters Mean When dentists and dental hygienists talk about numbers and letters as they peer into your mouth, they are identifying specific teeth. Using a coding system of letters and numbers allows dentists to specify which teeth have visual decay or other issues. If you listen to your dentist, you can learn a great deal about how well you are taking care of your teeth ...
The latest mini-trend among those who are conscious about their oral health is to always use a straw when consuming highly sugary, dark-colored, or acidic drinks. However, does using a straw really protect your teeth against cavity-causing bacteria? Stop Acid Erosion Sugar isn’t the only culprit when it comes to tooth decay. High levels of acid in everyday foods and drinks can be just as harmful. From oranges to wine, high acidic food and beverages can wear away your tooth enamel. This decaying process can cause tooth sensitivity and discoloration. If you drink acidic beverages, reducing their contact with your teeth by using a straw and finishing the drink quickly could help your fight against tooth erosion. Reduces Staining Using a straw with those sugary or strongly colored beverages can help reduce the number of stains they cause on the surfaces of your teeth. Drinks like soda or coffee can leave a real impact ...
The holidays are a joyful time for many, but they also bring potential health risks to your teeth. In particular, your dental health can be at risk due to the excess of sweets and alcohol consumed. Here are six teeth-saving tips to help you out this holiday season. Quit Smoking Smoking has a direct link to gum disease, which is the number-one cause of tooth loss. Since all of the shopping and planning required around the holidays can make it a stressful time of year, many smokers increase the frequency of their smoking to try combating stress. Protect your teeth by quitting your smoking habit as soon as possible. Each cigarette further increases your risk of developing gum disease. Avoid Sugary Hard Candies The holidays are filled with hard, sugary candies like peppermints and candy canes, but these are some of the hardest on your teeth. Sucking on these candies exposes your teeth and ...
Laser dentistry is an innovative type of dental care for both patients and dentists alike. Minimally invasive, medical professionals use these extremely focused light beams to alter or remove tissue in small amounts. While laser surgery is not limited to dentistry, many patients have never heard of laser dentistry before having it done. The Benefits of Laser Dentistry Whether you are having laser gum surgery or hard tissue work, you can expect a more comfortable procedure and a shorter recovery time with laser dentistry. Whether serious in nature or simply cosmetic, laser dentistry is a convenient solution to many oral and dental issues. Dentists choose laser dentistry because of distinct benefits that make the procedures go more smoothly, and also reduce discomfort for patients. Unique benefits of laser dentistry include: Less likely to require sutures Anesthesia may not be necessary Reduced likelihood of infection Shorter healing time Less blood loss than traditional surgery   Hard ...
Having a routine and following it daily reduces the need to make mundane decisions throughout the day. Routines enable us to know exactly what tasks we need to do, without having to give it much thought. Your oral hygiene routine is no exception to this statement, and practicing the same daily routine will allow you to not only become more efficient, but it will improve the condition of your smile too. The secret to building good oral hygiene habits is repetition. By developing and perfecting good practices, you will be simultaneously eradicating any bad ones. This helpful checklist will keep your oral hygiene routine on track, so your teeth can remain beautiful and healthy. How To Create A Daily Routine Routines can create consistency in our schedules, help with time management, and encourage us to build healthy habits. Think about why starting a routine is essential to you and find your motivation. Write ...
Halloween is just around the corner and statistics show that just over 25% of candy purchased in the United States each year is bought for Halloween. Between candy, costumes and staying up late with friends, it’s easy to see why Halloween is a favorite holiday for most kids. To help you sort through the trick-or-treating bag loot, we created a breakdown of the best and worst Halloween candy for your teeth. How Sugar Affects Your Teeth The bacteria in your mouth are probably even more excited to indulge on sugar than your child is. When the bacteria eat sugar from candy, starches, and carbohydrates, a weak acid is produced in your mouth. That same acid then carries on to destroy your teeth as much as possible by creating tooth decay and cavities. Don’t let the sugar from candy and other treats play unwanted tricks on your teeth. Tooth-Friendly Treats Don’t let the sugar from ...